Sep 2, 2013

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Rating: ★★
 (3/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published August 2005




"Would you follow the directions?

Would you travel around the world?

Would you open the envelopes one by one?


Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–-though utterly romantic–-results.

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes."


This was definitely a weird and quirky book, but I liked it. There were a couple of things that bothered me, which I'll get to in a minute, but in the book's entirety I think that Johnson found a creative, unused idea (which is a difficult thing to do in a world like ours, which has so many books!) and she found a way to rock it pretty well.

So, like it says above, Ginny's Aunt Peg sent her thirteen envelopes, with instructions in each. Aunt Peg is no longer there to help her out, so Ginny's on her own in tons of foreign countries, traveling Europe with nothing but the envelopes and anything she can shove inside of her hideous backpack.

There were a couple of parts about this book that kind of threw me off a little bit.

#1--Ginny seemed so emotionless to me. To me, it felt like she was just doing these things. No complaints, no comments, no thoughts. Aunt Peg told her to go there and look at that. She went there and looked at that. I didn't really get to know Ginny as a character. She sort of just did things. No insight on to who she is.

#2--There is absolutely NO mention (or at least, I didn't find it) of what Ginny's parent's thought about their seventeen year old daughter traveling to Europe without ways to contact them (except for letters) all by herself, armed with thirteen little blue envelopes. ?????????????

#3--Ginny+Kieth=? Ginny and Kieth were total strangers, and then totally out of the blue, he kissed her. And followed her to some places. And made out with her. And told her that he knew she was going to have to leave London at some point. Still, he never clarified what they were. Ginny never thought much of it either. She's gone for about two weeks without a single word to him, then she's back in London and poof--they're together. (Maybe?)

This was a really interesting book to read, and I did enjoy it even though I was thrown off by certain points. However, the sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope, came out six years after the prequel. WHAT?

Also, as good of a book as this was, I just don't feel like drudging through the sequel, so I think I'll leave off with this story where the first book dropped me off.

Well, that's all I'm going to review for today. Check back soon for my next review, which will be on The Scorpio Races. :-)

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